Call for island communities to be ‘fully included’ in Scotland’s technology future

Fresh criticism has been levelled against the SNP administration in Edinburgh over its track record in delivering superfast broadband to outlying areas such as Shetland.

Isles MSP Beatrice Wishart has spoken following the Scottish government’s response to the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review.

In May finance secretary Kate Forbes asked tech entrepreneur Mark Logan to conduct a “short-life” review into how Scotland’s tech sector can contribute to economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The review’s recommendations have been released and are primarily concerned with accelerating the maturity of Scotland’s so-called “technology ecosystem”, with a focus on education, infrastructure and funding.

But Ms Wishart said: “The Logan review sets out an exciting vision for Scotland’s future with high-skill high-wage jobs and opportunities for world-leading innovation.

“However, failure to deliver on the promise to deliver superfast broadband to every premise by the end of 2021 is not a track record of a government that is ambitious for Scotland’s digital future. It is a continual source of frustration that its two years behind.

“Rural and island communities, like Shetland, must be fully included in the government’s plans to develop Scotland’s technology future. Slow internet speeds in parts of Shetland are hampering opportunities for people to develop and grow digital businesses, wherever they live.

“People in living in rural and island communities have the talent and ambition to be successful tech entrepreneurs but basic infrastructure like superfast broadband has to be readily in place to help them succeed and scale-up their businesses.”


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